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From our Purveyor of Music:
Just recently, I had the opportunity to hear this engaging local group perform. The hammered dulcimer has a long history, and came West with English and Irish settlers.
Often, local musicians are just terrific but have the challenge of finding their place in a national and international market. Its our pleasure to bring their music to you. To learn more about this group, and the history of the hammered dulcimer, click on their name.
From the CD liner notes:
The Dulcimers of Dunlore present a variety of tunes celebrating the Christmas season. This collection of melodies draws from sacred tunes, traditional holiday songs, and ancient pieces selected to reflect the joy and harmony of the season. This local Los Angeles based group's members include Laurie Birkemeier, Janet Lewis, Carol Burrill, Jennie Goins, and Marcia Tyra.
We open with eight tunes arranged by Judith Dunlore. Carol of the Bells (1) is a Ukranian carol that shows off the bell-like timbre of the hammer dulcimer. On This Night Most Holy (2) is a Christmas setting of the old Welsh harp melody "The Ashgrove," followed by an inventive round combining a Russian Orthodox Christmas Kolyada (3) with the old English Christmas carol Christmas is Coming, Little Christmas Dance (4) is adapted from a 17th-century melody by Johann Fischer. Judith then turns the dulcimer ensemble loose to create its own dulcimer-only version of Jingle Bells (5). The Rose of Isaiah (6) takes the familiar "Rose" round and interweaves it with joyous contrapuntal melodies. We return to a traditional Welsh carol with the lively arrangement of Deck the Hall (7). Nobody is sure where the ancient and lovely melody Dona Nobis Pacem (8) comes from, but the words express the eternal prayer, "Grant us peace."
Carol had a hand in the arrangements of the next four pieces. Artsa Alinu (9) is a Hebrew phrase expressing joy at the return to the Promised Land. Judith and Carol come together to create a uniquely dulcimer Silent Night (10). I Saw Three Ships (11) was inspired by the harp playing of Deborah Friou. A favorite tune of local dulcimer players, Asolin (12) is a round that combines nicely with the traditional Greek melody Kalanta of the New Year.
Each of the Dulcimers of Dunlore musicians brings something of her own invention to the final part of the performance. The final nine pieces include traditional carols and melodies including Amazing Grace (15), March of the Three Kings (14), Winter Wren (16), and White Christmas (22).
May this collection of dulcimer melodies bring you much joy as you celebrate the holiday season.